Business-to-business (B2B) transactions are often painfully slow for both buyers and sellers. Corporate buyers are forced to undergo many steps, such as placing orders by phone or from paper catalogues, then waiting for invoices in the mail. Sellers suffer, too, frequently undergoing long waits to receive compensation. For example, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) spend an average of 57 days waiting.
Advanced transaction methods can accelerate the pace of B2B purchasing by moving away from manual processes reliant on paper checks and invoices in favor of those conducted through digital channels. Corporate buyers can pay more rapidly online with credit cards, benefitting sellers, and enjoy easy access to detailed, searchable information to guide their purchasing decisions.
However, the transition into eCommerce is not without challenges. The B2B eCommerce Report, a PYMNTS and American Express collaboration, digs into the advantages of online business purchasing, as well as efforts to overcome the difficulties involved in designing and securing these shopping experiences.
Around The B2B eCommerce World
Chinese eCommerce platform Alibaba recently debated how to adapt its platform to better support North American small business vendors. Kivanc Onan, head of B2B North America Financial Products for Alibaba, explained how features like lending services can help sellers get paid up front, while delivery guarantees that buyers feel more comfortable.
Some online sellers eschew online marketplaces in favor of more tailored digital sales experiences, turning to eCommerce system providers for help. Construction and industrial equipment and supplies distributor Winsupply Inc. recently sought a digital commerce solution to help its hundreds of independently managed distribution locations personalize their front-end experiences. The eCommerce solution lets those various front-end systems pull up data from a central back-end platform to check Winsupply’s inventory and processing orders.
Vendors may find that their eCommerce sites’ most important impact is not in accepting sales, but encouraging them. Aviation parts seller Jet Parts Engineering (JPE) recently noted that the majority of its purchasing orders come from channels like electronic data interchange, not through its eCommerce platform, though the latter is still critical for boosting sales. The site provides prospective customers with easy access to detailed product and purchasing information, helping to sway their decisions to buy.
To find more on these and the rest of the latest headlines, download the Report.
Digital Tools Make B2B Furniture Rental Fast And Flexible
Trade shows, corporate board meetings and business fundraisers are important parts of companies’ operations, but are difficult to pull off. Corporate event planners are hired to quickly find and furnish venues, and require digital tools to help them get the furniture and decor items they need, while staying on budget and on schedule.
Lilian Shen, director of marketing at B2B furniture and decor rental company CORT Events, explained in this month’s feature story how B2B suppliers can help event planners select the drapery, couches and more by offering convenient visualization tools and quick, mobile purchasing channels.
Read the full story in the Report.
Deep Dive: Keeping Online B2B Shopping Safe And Simple
B2B sellers know they must offer eCommerce sales channels if they want to appeal to today’s corporate buyers — many of whom are millennials. This generation is used to making easy online purchases, and expects vendors to provide the same experience.
However, sellers cannot just launch into online sales without taking care to secure themselves against the risks of digital fraud. Vendors must establish ways to verify buyers online, which may be challenging for companies used to meeting clients in person at trade shows, or to taking orders over the phone. This month’s Deep Dive examines what it takes to ensure convenient, secure online shopping experiences.
Find the Deep Dive in the Report.
About The Report
The B2B eCommerce Report, a collaboration between PYMNTS and American Express, highlights how online purchasing is reshaping the B2B procurement space, and how innovative vendors are advancing eCommerce offerings to sate the needs of modern corporate buyers.